Ultimate guide to referral traffic : How to increase referral traffic


Referral traffic refers to the visitors and viewers which come to a website through a referral link. Traffic can be of several types, we have organic traffic which means traffic directly emanating as a result of search engine queries. Advertising/Paid traffic, which is a result of pay per click programs. Direct traffic, which is the result of someone entering our exact web address in their browsers. Or someone who has bookmarked your site content and is directly visiting from there.

What does Referral traffic mean?

Referral traffic is traffic referred to your website via social networking sites, directly from search engines, links that you made on the web which can be via guest blogging, commenting or affiliates, listings that you may have in web directories or from sites where people have linked to your images (hot linking). So today we will cover referral traffic in detail, we will cover all aspects regarding how to generate referral traffic, how to increase referral traffic, what are the benefits of increased referral traffic, types of referral traffic and what does it imply when you see an unexpected surge in referral traffic.

How to generate referral traffic and it’s importance?

1.) Guest Blogging as a means to generate referral traffic. Guest posts are a great means for link building. It’s as simple as people who need content pay in the form of links to the people who generate content. Barter system, you see! Whenever you get a visitor from a link on another site that you posted on then this is an excellent form of referral traffic. If the site in question was a high authority site with lots of visitors then the amount of traffic flow would be great too.

affiliate driving referral traffic2.) Affiliate programs : For those bloggers or internet marketers who already have an affiliate strategy in place to promote their products, it would be a good source of generating referral traffic. It’s because everyone who signs up for your affiliate program will try to earn by promoting your products. And this will be an excellent source of referral traffic for you. It is because this kind of traffic is targeted traffic which can lead to purchases and increased sales.

3.) Advertising on other sites : Firstly find the sites which have the target audience that you are looking for. After that either opt for text links or banner advertising on those sites. It’s a really smart move to spend money. Specially when you yourself are selling some product and are in need of people who will buy your products.

4.) Online forums : Though with the advent of social media,forums have taken a backseat. But still if leveraged properly, forums still have the power to help people soar in rankings. One of my fellow bloggers jumped from PR 0 to PR 2 within the span of a single update after getting a signature link from his profile to his blog. (The forum was UC forum.) Even in contributing in forums in social networks (like Facebook Groups), there are high chances of people discovering your blog if you are a good contributing member.

5.) Blog commenting : Though this has been said many times. Still consider this, having a constructive comment which shows your knowledge and solves the curiosity of other readers on a blog is sure to drive lots of referral traffic to your website.

6.) Bookmarking sites : Sites like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Scoop.it, Tumblr and Blog Engage are excellent places to start bookmarking your links. Some of these sites can give you traffic which can even bring your web hosting down if you ever had the good luck to reach the front page.

7.) Coverage in media, or other popular sites (interviews): The greatest boost for your brand comes when an established brand mentions you, like we got mentioned by Nokia. Interviews are another great way for people to get to know about your brand and yourself. These help in overall branding of your blog/website as a business.

inspire2rise on conversations nokia referral traffic

8.) Newsletters and Press Releases are the final ways to gain traffic via this method : Make people sign up for your newsletter. Give them a reason to subscribe to your newsletter. The reason can be anything from constant updates, to top notch quality content or troll posts so funny that make people laugh so hard that they can’t get up for weeks.

referral traffic newsletter inspire2rise
Use of newsletters can be quite rewarding!

Press releases are the written or electronic media updates that you send to large publishing houses. For example, if you are a start-up then you can do a press release about your next product. This is one of the sure shot and tried and tested ways to get traffic.

9.) Social media : The greatest source of traffic in today’s age other than search engine optimization-seo is social media. Social media strategies should be in place to boost your reach apart from search engines. Adding social sharing buttons and being active on social media can boost traffic in way that is unmatched. I currently have seen a surge in traffic from Google Plus and Twitter.

referral traffic twitter

Twitter can boost your website traffic in the most beneficial way. It’s because of the fact that the hundred and forty character limit leaves too much to be desired. So users are naturally driven towards clicking on your links.
Read Mashable’s article on how Facebook Likes increase referral traffic to blogs here.

Different types of referral traffic :

Referral traffic can be said to be of two types depending upon what it leads to. The types are good referral traffic and bad referral traffic.

  • The good one implies that it’s the targeted traffic which leads to sales and conversions, subscriptions, regular visits or word of mouth publicity. These are the people who come from places with similar content souls as your website’s. They won’t hesitate from using your services or buying from you as they consider you trustworthy.
  • The bad one implies to the traffic which is pointless. These people are one time visitors who might stay a minute or two on your site and then leave. These are visitors who won’t add long term value to your user base. So, it’s better to try and build connections from places which have like minded audiences as your site has.

 How to find the sources of referral traffic to your site :

The simplest, easiest and best way to track referral traffic is via the Google Analytics tools, as explained in the images below.

referral traffics tracking through google analytics

referral traffics tracking through google analytics 2
All the vaious sources of the referral traffic and percentage of traffic obtained can be checked at one place!

What does increase in Referral traffic mean and what are the benefits of increased referral traffic :

Increase in referral traffic means the possible chances of increase in Page Rank of your website. Although because of infrequent updates the PR metric is loosing it’s charm, but it’s still a good indicator of the value of a website.

The benefits of such traffic are that it provides you with a constant source of traffic apart from search engines. You don’t have to constantly fear that the Google Panda or the Google Penguin update might hit you and make you loose all of your traffic. If you drive significant referral traffic to a post from various sources, then search engines too consider it to be an authority page and rank it higher.

NOTE : Unexpected surge in referral traffic means that you are going to get either a boost in Page rank or your website’s ranking is going to improve in Google in the near future.

So, this was all about Referral traffic. Have any doubt? Want to ask some queries of yours. Then the comments are always open for you!

rock concert referral traffic guide
Ain’t that the best way to get referral traffic? I am thinking of holding my own rock concert soon! 😀

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Written by Aditya Nath Jha

Aditya Nath Jha is an Engineer from New Delhi, India. His areas of interest include Gadgets, WordPress, speed optimization & latest technology.
When he is not busy blogging he loves to write poetry, compose his own songs and has a taste for music! Find me on Facebook, Google +, Twitter, Linked in.
And watch my videos on Youtube.


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